|Journeys: Michael A. Read|
|Date: February 28, 2000|
|Hello, my name is Michael Read. This is the story of how I came to be a premie, what I believed as a premie, why
I left 'premiedom' and what I believe in and know today. If any body else gains something from reading this, that's
all well and good. I, however, realize that I must write this journal. In doing so I hope to further my healing
and aid in my true spiritual growth.
I first discovered the ex-premie.org site just before Christmas of this year (1999) and devoured large chunks of it. I have read all of the journeys. Each one seemed to release more and more memories of my days in the premie houses of NW Portland, OR. I especially enjoyed Father Love's journey. He was right. We did eat it all up and shit it all out night and day. And, we loved it.
For me, that was about twenty seven years ago. After being discharged from the US Navy in '71 I lived for a short while with my dying father in Houston before moving up to Oregon. My foster family lived in Mt. Angel. They put me up for a while and my foster dad got me job in the turkey plant in Salem.
By late spring or early summer of '72 I established myself in a large house in Silverton, a small community about 30 minutes south of Portland. I rented the rooms out to college kids, mostly. We were all attending the now defunct Mt. Angel community college, partying, doping and generally enjoying life to the hilt. I was surviving on GI bill money and the odd jobs on the local farms and in the food processing plants in the area.
Our house was commonly known as 'the crazy house' on Water Street. We had bad plumbing, no carpets, no plaster or paint on most of the walls and there was always dog shit on the floor in the main living area. But that was all okay. There was always plenty of food in the house and we all had our own rooms. This 'lifestyle' continued for me until spring of '73.
One day some of the gang came back from a trip up to Portland talking about this kid from India who was some kind of guru or teacher or something. I couldn't really make too much sense out of what they were talking about. It was obvious that some of them were really taken up with it and others weren't too sure. Then something kind of weird happened.
I have had on a number of occasions in my life those odd strange moments when I know that somehow someway my life was about to shift and change. I had one then when one of my friends showed me a poster with maharaji's picture on it. As I read the words on the poster everything seemed to stop. The lord was here. Truth would be revealed. There was an answer and an end to pain and loneliness. The universe shrank down and became the picture on the posture. The very next evening I went with my friends up to Portland and experienced satsang for the first time.
Because I had expressed such an interest in going, one or two of my friends opened up a lot more about what was going on. They had been going to satsang for a couple of days and seemed to know a lot about who maharaji was and what the whole thing was about. As a result of that and the feelings I experienced from reading the poster, I had already started to form some strong feelings about maharaji and knowledge. Those feelings almost caused me to stand up and walk out of that first satsang.
Those first premies I saw were clean cut, sappy, happy young people who all filed out onto the stage with hands folded in prayer. There was also a large picture of maharaji there. Then one of them introduced a mahatma somebody or other. When he walked out on the stage all of the premies bowed down to him! That's when I almost walked out. I had this instant concept form that they should only be bowing down to the guru. After all wasn't HE supposed to be god almighty? Who the hell was this other guy? Then, the mahatma started to speak about the guru and the knowledge.
The room filled with light. I was hooked. It was beautiful. It was all I had ever wanted. It was TRUTH! The encounters I had with the guru over the next few months were even more powerful! At that time I did not have any idea of what knowledge was. I just knew that I had to have it.
I started driving up to Portland at least twice a week to attend satsang. I wanted to receive knowledge, but on the few times there was a mahatma in town I wasn't ready to ask for it. There were some small doubts in my mind, it seems. Some of my friends did receive. Of course they wouldn't tell me what IT was.
Some things I remember about my quest for knowledge:
Going to California to try to get knowledge:
Being in a reviewing line to see maharaji as he came out of the airport. Seeing him and experiencing him then as a great power.
Going to his residence in hopes of seeing and talking to him. Being told by the people there that I couldn't stay. They wouldn't even let me sit on the curb to wait around. Slowly walking away from that place with my head down. Hearing a voice inside of my head that said, 'Don't stop now, he's here.' Looking up to see a limousine with darkened windows going by. Noticing that the people at the residence were all happy and waving to see maharaji coming then disappointed and confused as he drove on by. Sitting at a bus stop hurt and confused while some hippy brother offered to let me come live on some commune. I declined of course.
Back in Oregon getting a student loan to go to India:
Ostensibly to study Eastern religions. Got a loan for $1,000 from US Bank. I was told that it was a miracle because the loan officer I was working with never but absolutely never gave out student loans!
Going to India:
All of the premies had already gone. I had to stop over in NY City for a few days to pickup my passport and visa. Still did not have knowledge yet. Stayed in the YMCA. Walking down the street in NYC, going to eat; two drunk guys drinking out of paper bags giving me dirty looks as I walked by, twenty feet past them a huge beam of light went through my head like a lighthouse beacon, being able to see in 360 degrees on all tangents, seeing the look of astonishment on the guys' faces as I turned invisible, went and had Chinese food.
Finally, the long flight to India. Nice Flight but I won't go into that here.
Then India! Afternoon layover in Bombay. I had met up with an American businessman on the flight. We decided to take a walk around Bombay after lunch. When we met in the lobby he was all dressed in red and I in blue. As we walked around the city we were amazed by what we saw. The beggars were out in force and the extreme poverty was almost overwhelming! At least to our Western eyes. There was a small boy walking with his father. When he looked up and saw me, he started pointing and shouting, "Krishna! Krishna!" The combination of wearing all blue and having long dark hair must have really sparked the child's imagination!
Flew on to New Delhi late that afternoon and spent the night in a cheap hotel. The next morning I went looking for the Prem Nagar Ashram. I did not have a clue that it wasn't in or around New Delhi! I hired a taxi to take me to maharaji. We drove around half the day and finally found an ashram. It was one of maharaji's ashrams. Maharaji's oldest brother Bal Baghwan Ji (always made me think of Bubba Grungy!) had apparently arrived just before I did.
As I got out of the taxi this is what occurred: some spacey premie told me that I had to take off my shoes to enter the ashram grounds, the coarse gravel hurt my feet, I looked down the driveway, babaghwanji was giving darshan, light was coming out of his head, I noticed that the gravel was not hurting my feet anymore and looked down, I was levitating, babaghwanji whipped his head around to look at me, I lowered myself back to the ground but the gravel no longer pained, then I walked on into the ashram grounds. After exploring the ashram for a few minutes went back outside and sat down in a side entryway. I could feel babaghwanji and then see (through the solid wall) him walking towards me from around the corner. Before he came any closer I sent him a mental message that I did not come all the way from the other side of the planet to see him, but to see maharaji and to leave me alone. He stopped and turned around and left.
Later that day I boarded the train with a bunch of other premies and finally went on to prem nagar. Upon our arrival there the word was that m and the holy family would be doing a procession along the canal behind the ashram. We were told to line up along the canal if we wanted to gaze upon them.
After the procession maharaji went on the top deck of the ashram and waved his arms around for a few minutes. I saw him go up there and start to wave then everything began to turn into a swirl of light with a little dark dot in the middle. Then maharaji left the ashram and never came back during the entire two weeks I was there! From my experiences in California and this experience I began to develop a feeling that he couldn't face me! Funny isn't it? Most premies would feel that they were unworthy! Not me! Ha!
I got into a knowledge session within a couple of days. The session was extremely anticlimactic, to say the least! Nothing and I mean nothing happened. No Light. No Music. No Word. No Nectar. Nada, zip, nothing happened! There was one other person getting k and he was blown away!
Anyway.. I hung around the ashram doing service and talking to people and working up the courage to shit! You can only appreciate that if you were there! The toilets were all open air and outdoors. They were made out of rammed earth or terra cotta clay or something! The REEK! The FLIES! The unholy SHITTINESS!
One other event happened for me at prem nagar. One afternoon as I was walking around the ashram grounds I happened upon an Indian brother who had setup a little outdoor barbershop. Two English brothers had just had shaves. They were quietly complaining to each other how bad a barber the Indian guy was and how bad their shaves were. But, I had already sat down on the barber stool and asked for a shave. I heard a zinging noise and looked down. The barber's hands were so callused from a lifetime of manual labor that he was able to strop (sharpen) the razor on the palm of his hand! I just smiled, leaned my head back, and went into samhadi! The barber finished my shave and would not take any money from me. The two English brothers were standing there somewhat perplexed. When I asked them if they spoke Hindi they said yes. It seems that the barber was refusing to take money from a mahatma, me! Too rich!
I left prem nagar and India and went home to Silverton, OR. Then I moved up to Portland - got kicked out of the Crazy House for being an insufferable premie! Ha! Moved up to Portland and into a premie house. Met and married my wife (a premie) a year later. We rented our own house and a few years later we bought a house I Aurora, OR just south of Portland. After having two children and being a householder for about five years, I just grew out of needing to be a premie.
I remember my oldest daughter at about the age of three or four wouldn't kiss the feet. She just looked at m as if he were a piece of crap!
Now it is the year 2000. My wife left me with two children over twelve years ago. The kids are grown and gone. I'm a grandpa. I work on computers as an Oracle Database consultant. My mother died last year.
What else? I still meditate but not on k. I still see light coming out of myself and other people. I never used the k technique of poking the fingers in the eyeballs. I didn't need to.
Today I do not believe in god, jesus, buddha, religion, gurus, heaven, hell, the end of the world, evolution, the big bang, preachers, teachers, or much of anything that purports to be THE ANSWER.
I like love and kindness.
I like rock and roll.
I love women!
I believe in consciousness but only in a provisional way.
I do not want anything.
I do not care if I live or die! But since I am alive, supposedly, I try to enjoy all aspects of life.
MY ADVICE - TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT ;-)
Laugh when you're happy
Cry when you're sad
Eat when you're hungry
Be good when you're being bad (if you know what I mean!)
Even though there is no god - god is everywhere!
Life is a mystery - sweet and sublime!
Well that's about it for now!
Peace and Love to us all!